Giant flywheel project in Scotland could prevent UK power outages

Windy Standard wind farm, Scotland [credit: RWE.com]

H/T Chaeremon

We’re supposed to believe that spending £25 million is going to somehow make UK power supplies cheaper. No explanation of where the energy for the flywheel is going to come from. Maybe more trees will have to be burnt, as wind can’t be relied on? Don’t even think about a catastrophic failure of the flywheel itself.

A giant flywheel in the north-east of Scotland could soon help prevent power outages across Britain by mimicking the effect of a power plant but without using fossil fuels, reports FR24News.

The pioneering project near Keith in Moray, which would cost around £25 million, will not produce electricity or produce carbon emissions – but it could help keep the lights on by stabilizing the grid’s electrical frequency.

Norwegian energy company Statkraft hopes that starting next winter, the new flywheel, designed by a division of General Electric, will be able to mimic the rotating turbines of a traditional power plant, which have helped balance the network frequency at around 50 hertz for decades.

Currently, the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) is forced to close wind farms and operate gas-fired power plants even if there is more than enough renewable energy to meet British electricity demand, in order to keep the network frequency stable.

By simulating the mass of rotating metal in a power plant turbine without producing emissions, Statkraft should be able to help ESO depend less on fossil fuels and make more use of renewable energy.

It is the first time that a project of this type will be used anywhere in the world and ESO thinks that it could be a “huge step forward” in the management of a zero carbon electricity network.

Full report here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

https://ift.tt/2Zd8k5x

July 9, 2020 at 07:09AM

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